Yoliswa Dube-Moyo, Matabeleland South Bureau Chief
POLICE have arrested nearly 11 000 people for illegal mining activities across the country since January this year under an operation targeting illegal miners and people carrying dangerous weapons.
Police last year launched Operation Isitsheketsha Kasiphele/Chikorokoza Ngachipere/No To Machete Gangs.
National police spokesperson Assistant Commissioner Paul Nyathi said in a statement yesterday that the police blitz has since January this year netted 10 804 for illegal mining activities or carrying dangerous weapons.
The police blitz was in response to reports that gold panners were terrorising villagers in the different communities where they were operating.
One of the affected areas was Malungwane Village in Umzingwane District, Matabeleland South Province where the panners had unleashed a reign of terror. The panners were attacking villagers with axes, machetes and knobkerries.
This saw family members sleeping in maize fields fearing being attacked at their homes.
Meanwhile, Asst Comm Nyathi said police have also arrested 120 042 people for various cross border crimes across the country since January last year.
“Police arrested 497 under the operation No to Cross Border Crimes/Fhasi Ngamilandu Yamukanoni Yamashango/Mhosva Pamiganhu Ngadzipere/Amacala Kawaphele Emigceleni Yelizwe this year. The cumulative number of arrests since January last year is 120 042 people,” said Asst Comm Nyathi.
Smuggling has been problematic in the country as people are taking advantage of the porous borders.
A trucker was recently arrested in Beitbridge after smuggling in 21 refrigerators.
Asst Comm Nyathi said police also arrested 2 409 people for various offences related to Covid-19 last Sunday. — @Yoliswa